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friday, april 23

staff support-bank street college's staff council presents benefit concert "friday night live," featuring several stand-up comics, performers and hip-hop artists. performers include vladimir caamano and damien lemon, co-producers of comedy on the hump at the laugh lounge; julia ahumada grob, who has toured internationally with her one-woman show (her)evolution; and younas melless, who received a 2009 billboard songwriting award for his single "banga." money raised from the event will go to the staff council emergency assistance fund, which supports eligible bank street employees who are facing emergency situations like accidents or illnesses. tabas auditorium, 610 w. 112th st., 212-875-4492; 7:30 p.m., $10 to $20.

chow down-bistro ten 18 celebrates spring with items from the 97th street green market. starting today, the new prix fixe menu begins with puree of asparagus soup, followed by roasted asparagus and country ham. the entrée is seared gulf shrimp and morel mushrooms, served with asparagus risotto, white wine and shallot and garlic parsley salad. dessert even includes asparagus in the goat's milk cheesecake with graham cracker crust and local honeycomb. bistro ten 18, 1018 amsterdam ave., 212-662-7600; all weekend, $45 per person.

saturday, april 24

swing time-the new york swing dance society invites community members to dance to the sounds of the city rhythm orchestra. the society offers swing dance lessons at 7 p.m., with general dancing beginning at 8 p.m. st. jean baptiste church hall, 184 e. 76th st., 212-696-9737; 8 p.m., $11 to $15.

vision help-the foundation fighting blindness hosts a "new york vision seminar" for patients diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and related retinal diseases. the seminar features expert presentations on the latest retinal research advancements, treatments, clinical trials and low vision rehabilitation. speakers include scott e. brodie, r. theodore smith, stephen rose and bruce p. rosenthal. the conference center at the new york academy of medicine, 1216 fifth ave., 800-586-6765; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., free.

go for a spin-take a bike ride in search of spring's early bloomers. the parks department begins a "botany bike journey" at the 79th street boat basin. participants ride along the hudson river to fort washington park, fort tryon and end up at the inwood hill nature center. meet at boat basin, west 79th street and hudson river, 311; noon, free.

in bloom-the west side community garden hosts a tulip festival to celebrate spring. volunteers planted more than 12,000 bulbs of more than 30 varieties of tulips over 10 days last november. the garden promises a kaleidoscope of colors and variations. cameras are encouraged, as the garden is hosting its first annual photo contest. festival continues on sunday. the west side community garden is open every day of the year, weather permitting. west 89th street between amsterdam and columbus avenues, 212-875-0632; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., free.

intro to dance-the new york theatre ballet presents two shows, carnival of the animals and the firebird, for the price of one. these interactive shows are a favorite of children as young as 3, who are encouraged to be playful while learning basic dance steps and how to use the same props as dancers on stage. carnival of the animals is set in a magical forest filled with lovable creatures, while the firebird is based on a russian fairy tale about a firebird captured by a young prince. florence gould hall, 55 e. 59th st, 212-355-6160; 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., $25 to $30.

sunday, april 25

earth fun-columbia university teachers college hosts its second annual rockin' earth day fest. the event includes a full slate of activities for children, as well as opportunities to learn about the environment, purchase sustainable products, sample local and organic foods and attend health and wellness courses. musical guests, including shanelle gabriel, autodrone and urban sun, raise money for the groups charity: water and the riverhead foundation for marine research and preservation. russell courtyard, west 120th street between broadway and amsterdam avenue, 212-678-8256; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., free.

museum mile-ey zipris, an educator at the museum of the city of new york, leads a walk along new york city's famed museum mile in a tour offered by friends of the upper east side historic districts. starting at the frick collection, zipris explains what the architecture and location tell about the museum's history and the events that led to its creation as a museum space. the discussion also covers the development of upper manhattan during the gilded age and the various ways that central park has mirrored urban movement. meet at the northeast corner of east 70th street and fifth avenue, 212-535-2526; 2 p.m., $10 to $15.

great pipes-st. andrew music society presents "music on madison," featuring ryan jackson on organ. the performance features works by bach, mendelssohn, vierne and durufle. recognized for his "mature musicality," jackson has won first prize at three national canadian organ competitions and was a prizewinner at the fort wayne competition in 2008. madison avenue presbyterian church, 921 madison ave, 212-288-8920; 3 p.m., $10 to $15.

monday, april 26

eclectic-music mondays presents the loki ensemble, which brings together experiences in jazz, classical performance and composition, and innovative and accomplished musicians to expand the boundaries of vocal chamber music. the performance features abigail fischer on vocals, noah kaplan on saxophone, wes matthews on piano, christopher otto on violin and kevin mcfarland on cello. the ensemble, joined by pianists inna faliks and edward neeman, performs works by schoenberg and resident composers nathan shields, reinaldo moya and william cooper. advent lutheran/broadway united church, 2504 broadway, 212-665-2504; 7:30 p.m., free.

tuesday, april 27

reflection-"beyond never again," a six-part course about the holocaust created by the jewish learning institute, examines the universal themes that the holocaust forces us to confront, such as the nature of good and evil. the program has won support from the united states holocaust memorial museum and more than 100 centers and institutes devoted to studying the holocaust around the world. the course is formulated as a series of facilitated discussions and runs for six weeks. congregation kehilath jeshurun, 125 e. 85th st., 212-774-5636;

7:30 p.m., $79.

wiesel speaks-nobel laureate elie wiesel visits the press club for an evening of reminiscence. the playwright and novelist has attained international prominence as a champion of human rights and a messenger of peace and justice for oppressed peoples. wiesel was awarded the noel prize for peace in 1986. his latest novel, a mad desire to dance, was published last year. gabe pressman, senior correspondent for wnbc-tv, moderates. elebash recital hall, cuny graduate center, 365 fifth ave, 212-907-0051; 7:30 p.m., $5 to $10.

wednesday, april 28

vermeer's ladies-mark strand, last year's recipient of the gold medal for poetry from the american academy of arts and letters, discusses works in the frick's permanent collection from a poet's point of view. strand focuses primarily on women depicted by vermeer. the frick collection, 1 e. 70th st., 212-547-6863; 6 p.m., free.

budding writers-sonya chung, author of the new novel long for this world, presents a free introductory fiction writing class. through short lectures and readings, chung reveals how writers craft fictional characters and bring them to life on the page. participants are encouraged to bring pen and paper in order to complete a short writing exercise designed to help them start their own fiction. barnes and noble, 150 e. 86th st., 212-974-8377; 7 p.m., free.

thursday, april 29

ebony and ivory-pianist elena klionsky performs in concert with the new juilliard ensemble. the performance includes the u.s. premiere of martin matalon's "trame iv for piano and 11 instruments." other works on the program are chris kapica's "juice box hero," david fulmer's "violin concerto," paul chihara's "chamber symphony" and a new piece from jakhongir shukurov. peter jay sharp theater, 155 w. 65th st., 212-769-7406; 8 p.m., free.

touch of bubbly-"champagne pam," a.k.a. pamela lewis, stars in a new cabaret that seeks to attract new audiences. lewis is accompanied by guitarist john hurley and pianist john colianni. this show is intended to "pop" with cabaret devotees, as well as those new to the genre, with pieces from chaka khan to sondheim. the metropolitan room, 34 w. 22nd st., 212-206-0440; 9:30 p.m., $25 plus two-drink minimum.

two plays-the open book, new york's oldest professional readers theater company, presents the production of mister jack and the short one-act don juan's final night. mister jack gives the audience the opportunity to ask "the world's greatest lover" questions about love and sex. don juan's final night is an adaptation by marvin kaye of edmond rostand's work. in the one-act play, don juan bargains with the devil and eventually succumbs to the ghosts of the women he has slept with. 78th street theatre lab, 236 w. 78th st, 212-362-0329; 8:15 p.m., $10 to $15.

reunion-jazz at lincoln center presents the yellowjackets, featuring mike stern. this performance marks the first time in 10 years that drummer will kennedy rejoins the group, and stern's first performance with the band. stern is a former member of the miles davis electric band, and one of the premier guitarists and composers of his generation. the edmar castaneda trio opens. rose theater at frederick p. rose hall, broadway at west 60th street, 212-721-6500; 8 p.m., $10 to $95.

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